Diets for older people

As we get older, it is inevitable that our health will gradually weaken at some point, irrespective of how well we looked after our bodies throughout our lives. However, we can continue to be full of freshness and vigor well into our pensionable years if we exercise adequately and get the nutrition that our bodies need. Malnutrition or an unhealthy diet will only quicken the onset of health problems once we surpass middle age.

People of all ages struggle to get the ideal nutrition for them, as evidenced by shocking child obesity figures, but the elderly often find it even more difficult to eat healthily for varying reasons. They may struggle to find the money to afford healthy meals every day, while they could also be physically unable to prepare proper meals. They could find it hard to get to a store to buy the foods that they need, or their appetite could be lacking if they suffer from loneliness or depression. As a consequence of failing to get adequate nutrition, elderly people are left increasingly susceptible to dietary-related diseases such as prostate cancer, osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

It’s worth encouraging older people to try healthier diets that are best suited to what their bodies need. A TLC diet containing skinless poultry, fruit and vegetable salad, a roast beef sandwich and oatmeal is ideal for those with blood pressure or cholesterol concerns. If you’re trying to encourage better heart health, a Mediterranean diet with pasta noodles, sundried tomatoes, seafood and wholegrain toast will go a long way towards this. Whatever the nature of your elders’ dietary needs, it’s generally best to incorporate fiber, iron, unsaturated fats, calcium and vitamin D while eliminating salt, empty calorie foods, trans fats and red meat.

Of course, we shouldn’t merely tell our elders what is best for them. A degree of participation on our part can be massively helpful, whether it’s by doing our parents’ grocery shopping, cooking meals or them or turning one dinner a week into a family occasion to which they will really look forward. This not only enables them to eat healthier, but also offers a social platform that they enjoy immensely.

This infographic from Be Independent Home Care (https://www.beindependenthomecare.ie/our-services/private-home-care.html) offers further advice on how we can enable our elders to get the dietary requirements that will help them to a happier, healthier life.

Diets for older people
Diets for older people
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